Pedro Ximénez (also known as P.X.) is a white wine grape varietal grown in selected wine regions of Spain. Both a blending component and in its own right a varietal wine, which is an intensely sweet, dark, dessert style Sherry wine.
P.X. was originally grown in the Montilla-Moriles DO region of southern Spain, and along with Palomino Fino made up the majority of grapes used in the production of Sherry. However, the strong resistance of the Palomino grape to disease has led to a great decline in the use of Pedro Ximénez in traditional Sherry, and despite its continued use in the sweeter blends of Sherry in Montilla-Moriles, Malaga and other regions of Andalusia, its fame now rests principally on its use in the varietal raisin, straw-wine of the same name.

 

The dessert wine Pedro Ximénez is made by partly drying the grapes in a time-honoured fashion under the hot Spanish sun for two or three weeks on straw-mats, in order to allow the concentration of the natural sugars and sweetness. The amount of residual sugar in Pedro Ximénez wines is at least 210 grams per litre, but they will typically rest between 300 and 500 grams of sugar per litre.
The 'must' of these raisin grapes ferments very slowly - creating a wine of extraordinary depth and complexity of flavour, which are then used to create a thick, dark liquid with a strong taste of raisins, figs, dates, molasses and mocha-coffee that is fortified and is used as a blender to sweeten Oloroso Sherry and aged in solera.
Pedro Ximénez can be quite crisp and dry when vinified still - but is more frequently used as a sweetening agent in Sherry, with the concentrated juice from the partly dried grapes, with intense flavours. In Spain the dried P.X. grapes are vinified and then aged, matured using the 'Solera and Criadera' system in oak barrels for many years and produce fortified wines of considerable character and sweetness.
Best enjoyed served chilled at 7-9ºC and paired with desserts; chocolate torte, churros (Spanish donuts with chocolate sauce), pastries and is truly delicious poured over walnut ice-cream. As an after dinner drink, it is a great way to finish the perfect meal - enjoy.